Free

Shihana Alazzaz: A Saudi Woman in the Corner Office

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

The Little America Hotel - Salt Lake City

Ballroom C

500 S Main St

Salt Lake City, UT 84101

View Map

Friends Who Are Going
Event description

Description

Join the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy for a talk from visiting Saudi lawyer, Shihana Alazzaz. A pre-event reception will begin at 6:00pm, with the main event starting at 7:00pm.

Fearlessness - this is the attribute that Shihana Alazzaz believes led to her success. From arguing for her own inheritance rights in court at the age of 16, to leaving her home country of Saudi Arabia, in order to pursue her degree in law in the UK, Alazzaz’s success has never come easily. After starting her career in New York City, Alazzaz returned home to Riyadh and became the only woman at an elite law firm. Since then, she has worked her way up to serving as the Head of Transactions at the Public Investment Fund in Riyadh. As part of the first wave of women practicing law in her country, Alazzaz has taken it upon herself to nurture young talent, particularly young women, across the region. She works with the Tomouh, an organization dedicated to creating a community of young professionals in the Gulf, and has created an internship program to mentor young female law students. As part of these efforts, Alazzaz regularly shares her inspirational story with young professionals in the region, and now she is bringing that story to Salt Lake City, where she will share with audiences how she has found success in the face of such long odds.

ABOUT SHIHANA ALAZZAZ

Shihana Alazzaz is one of the first women licensed to practice law in Saudi Arabia and is passionate about mentoring other young women in her field. Born and raised in Riyadh, she left at the age of seventeen in order to study law in the United Kingdom. In 2008, Alazzaz graduated with an Honors LLB degree and received further training in Dubai and Kuwait before accepting a job at Baker and McKenzie Law Practice in New York, a position she accepted because at that time the Saudi Ministry of Justice did not issue licenses to women to practice law in the Kingdom. In her new job, Alazzaz provided legal advice on topics including defense, aviation, telecommunications, healthcare and securities.

In 2012, Saudi regulations regarding the right of women to practice law changed, prompting Alazzaz to return to Saudi Arabia and obtain her law license. She was offered a position opening the new Riyadh office of Vinson and Elkins LLP, one of the world’s leading law firms dealing with the energy sector. She rose to the position of Counsel. Her work focused on energy, oil and gas, power, mining, and petrochemical and infrastructure projects. When she first started at V&E, Alazzaz was the only women working at the office, so she started an internship program to recruit talented young female law students. Since then, twelve young women entering their final year of law school have completed 6 month internships at V&E, giving them valuable training before entering the workforce. Alazzaz was also integral to the creation and management of Tomouh, an organization dedicated to fostering the careers of ambitious young people in the Gulf Region. Recently, Alazzaz has been appointed as Head of Transactions at the Public Investment Fund in Saudi Arabia.

Alazzaz is a member of the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar. While in law school she served as a Saudi representative in the U.S. Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and later participated in the State Department’s International Visitors Program on Saudi Women in Law, visiting a number of cities across the U.S. She is a regular speaker at the University of Colorado’s Annual Conference on World Affairs and was the keynote speaker at the first German-Middle East Young Professionals Conference in Berlin. She has published articles on a variety of topics in Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Madame Figaro Magazine, and regularly gives motivational talks to Saudi high school and university students.

Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

The Little America Hotel - Salt Lake City

Ballroom C

500 S Main St

Salt Lake City, UT 84101

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved